Don’t know what the criteria is, K.L Rahul says on Pujara being named vice-captain for Bangladesh Tests

K.L. Rahul, the stand-in skipper for the first Test against Bangladesh, on Monday expressed ignorance about Cheteshwar Pujara being named as India vice-captain instead of Rishabh Pant and said he did not know what was the criteria for such a decision.

There was a little bit of surprise when the BCCI named Pujara as vice-captain for Tests against Bangladesh as the now-sacked selection committee had said Rishabh Pant and Rahul were being groomed as future leaders of the Indian team. Asked about the same, Rahul didn’t go much into the specifics of the vice-captaincy change.

“Regarding vice-captain, at least I don’t know like what is the criteria. Whoever is picked, you give yourself a pat on the back and you continue. I know that when you are the vice-captain, you become really happy. But it really doesn’t change too many things, everybody in the team knows their roles and responsibilities and how much the team appreciates their contribution,” Rahul said during the pre-match press conference on Monday.

“Rishabh and Pujara both have been brilliant for us in Test cricket and have done the job so many times. So we really don’t think much as everyone tries to take their responsibilities and we carry on as a team. The team wins as eleven players and when we go down we go down as a whole team. Everyone has responsibility and we try to help each other and enjoy our cricket.”

From Wednesday, India will be back in red-ball cricket when they face Bangladesh in the first of two Tests at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the hope to grab much-needed ICC World Test Championship points and boost their chances of reaching the final in June next year.

The two Tests between India and Bangladesh are a part of the ICC World Test Championship cycle, where India are currently placed fourth with 52.08 percentage points. With them needing to win Tests against Bangladesh and Australia, stand-in captain K.L Rahul has promised that India will play aggressive cricket in the upcoming series against the Shakib Al Hasan-led side.

“There is a World Test championship (final) qualification so we will also have to be aggressive as well. We know where we stand and what we need to do to qualify for the final. Each day, each session we will have to assess what is required for the team in that particular moment and try to give our best and enjoy each day of Test cricket.”

“We won’t go in with any set mindset. There is a history of a certain venue. You look at the numbers and you take certain pointers from that. At least for us we will go there and try to be aggressive and brave, try and get a result.”

“The game is played over five days so it is important to break it down into smaller targets and assess how the game goes. In every session, the demands would be different but one thing is sure that you are going to see a lot of aggressive cricket from our side,” said Rahul.

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